The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has approved a joint cheque processing venture between Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Westpac.
The joint venture will provide outsourced day one voucher processing services which include imaging, entering and balancing functions. The main type of vouchers processed by the banks are cheques, bill payments and other paper vouchers such as paper credit card transactions (merchant paper), cash slips, general ledger vouchers and drawing vouchers.
The ACCC says it has considered the competitive impact of the JV and has concluded that the venture is unlikely to result in a substantial lessening of competition.
Graeme Samuel, ACCC chairman, comments: "Whilst the ACCC considers that the barriers to entry to the market are high, it does not consider that there will be any change to those customers who acquire voucher processing services."
The ruling is expected to lead to further consolidation of back ofice functions between Australian banks.